Notes from the 2010-11 basketball season

Written April 12th, 2011 by Jay

Now that the proverbial dust has settled from the 2010-2011 men’s college basketball season, it’s time to reflect a bit on the season past and pick out of a few of the headlines, highlights, or otherwise newsworthy items that seemed to define this season.  Obviously it was a great season for Buckeye fans, and one item of note for college basketball fans in general was the play of our team, and particularly Jared Sullinger, but for now we’ll save the Buckeye-centric comments and take a broader view.

There is always a lot of chatter about the different major conferences, comparing their strengths and weaknesses, arguing for which conference is the toughest, and celebrating wins over teams from other conferences early in the season.  This season was no different in terms of the boasting, but in a number of ways this really was the Season of the Big East.  This isn’t an argument for the Big East’s superiority – just an observation that week-to-week the Big East was getting a lot of attention due to its number of quality teams.  Certainly the Tournament Selection Committee bought into that impression, granting 11 NCAA Tournament berths to teams from the conference, including a #1 seed for regular season Big East champion Pittsburgh.  Although three of the four most highly seeded Big East teams lost in only the second round of the tournament (Pitt, Notre Dame, Syracuse), it was Big East Tournament winner UConn that took care of business, claiming the NCAA Tournament title as well. Read More

March Madness 2011: Southwest Region

Written March 16th, 2011 by Eric

We continue our look at the NCAA tournament field with our third of three regions.  Jay and Joe already did a fantastic job with the West and Southeast regions yesterday.  The Southwest region seems a lot easier to predict than the Southeast with a lot fewer chances for upsets in the first round.  That doesn’t mean there aren’t some teams to look out for, though!

Favorites: There is no question about the top favorite for this bracket.  Kansas, last year’s overall #1 seed, is in no danger of facing the same fate as last year.  This year’s team is a dangerously deep and talented group, not dependent on any one player to get the job done.  The Morris brothers, Markieff and Marcus, lead the team in points per game and rebounds per game as well as leading a trio of fantastic frontcourt players.  Overall, Kansas plays with an incredibly fast pace, and runs with a significant height advantage that could give their opponents trouble.

Keep an eye on Purdue as well.  While the Boilermakers ended the season in pathetic fashion (losses to Iowa and Michigan State), they are still a spectacularly dangerous team when they’re on their game.  Expect Matt Painter to lead his team deep into the tournament as he’ll be more than capable of refocusing his troops on the importance of March.

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